Six Words About Privacy


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Share Your Six Words on Privacy

We live in an era of product and service personalization and social media sharing, but also of pervasive data collection, surveillance, and data mining. Knowledge is currency, and data and smart devices are everywhere.

What is privacy? It's a complex construct that means different and sometimes very personal things to different people. It may carry with it legal or professional obligations. It is approached in different ways in different countries and cultures. So is it a state of being? A social value? A set of shared norms? A collection of laws? A basic human right?

Inspired by The Race Card Project, Sol Bermann, Chief Information Security Officer at U-M, and Michael Corn, Chief Information Security Officer at the University of California, San Diego, took the Six Words concept back to their campuses. Hear them talk about their projects in Privacy and Security: The Six Words Project (podcast).

See an analysis of privacy word submissions conducted a year into the project.

Share your thoughts on privacy in six words.

We promise to only share the information you choose to share. We'll keep the rest private.

Pillar of liberty, security, and justice

ownership, protected, net neutrality, freedom, integral

Privacy is integral to personal citizenship & freedom - it must be protected. Decision-makers are not considering or knowledgeable of a sustainable user experience; they are no longer listening. Protect net neutrality. Protect personal data & ownership.

Inherent dignity from God to me

Dignity defined from as: Elevation; honorable place or rank of elevation; degree of excellence, either in estimation, or in the order of nature.

data protection, security, will over data

Expected, ignored, complex, Peace-of-Mind, non-judjement, monetized

It remains between me and God

Robert Maloney

without interruption, having time to yourself


consent, freedom, agency, control, end policing

ownership, consent, transparency, freedom, observation, identity

Alone, Online, Control, Choice, Freedom, Security


Peace, solitude, protection, nonjudgement, freedom, liberty

Probably means nothing to my congressperson

please don't look at me, thanks

Hi. Bits and Bytes built AI.

The ability to know what is known about me.

About me, only decided by me

Escaping the exploitative surveillance capitalist machine


I don't know who knows me


imperative, vanishing, monetized, personal, freedom, security


Necessary, Safety, Freedom, Creativity, Quite, Forgotten

Control over who sees my data

consent hidden comfortable blinds darkness internet

Ambiguous, Autonomy, Controlled, Essential, Security, Right

Tillie Rosenberg

The ability to control my data

control rights protection personal laws corporations


Secure my data from being hacked

Right to make your own choices

Essential, should be a fundamental right

Ability to be free of monitoring

Please leave alone my personal information

Privacy means no snooping on me

My things not accessed by others

Individual, rights, assurance, ownership, protection, secrets

Information/ data about me are mine

State of being free from world

Help protect the vulnerable from exploitation.

Having control over my own information

Cybersecurity, passwords, breach, security, freedom, control

I own decision to keep/disclose information

Right to own your own data

My personal details will stay private

Others cannot see what I do

Free service, you are the product

Protect your data; Choices have consequences

Sapiens Mulier

Opportunity, liability, fight, moral, subjective, reasonable

How to protect privacy in the 21st century: have reasonable expectations, do not assume others will protect your privacy, do what is right by others in your personal and professional life.

Privacy lost/ traded is never regained

choice, expectation, identity, explicit, monetization, profiling

M Giacobbe

control safety choice options patient decides

Truth, Confidence, Stability, Recovery, Secure, Responsible

Privacy is confidence in truth being shared about the stability of what will hold things private. Nothing is full proof... but knowing private things can be recovered due to incident with responsibility being owned by those considered guardians is key.
E. King

closed shy restricted safe unbothered alone


Shrinking fast as social media pervades

Steve Boyak

My data, my decision to unshare

Twin to “my data, my decision to share”

My data, my decision to share

you can never be too paranoid

surveillance secrets hiding target castle invasive

sensitivity respect control right permission obligtions

Data privacy is not something suspicious

brian cors

Information privacy is a fundamental right

Information without privacy can too easily be used as a weapon. But information within a context of privacy can be a powerful tool for discovery, for advocacy, and for accountability.
Johanna Bleckman

big brother can not watch me

My right to be left alone

Clarity, Accuracy, Permission, Retention, Protection, Deletion

Means only using the least amount of permissible data for any action and only retaining it for the shortest time possible.
John Krogulski

Data analysts, Ask for permission, always!

No peeping toms; no peeping platforms

Get your AI off my data.

Human scale empathy and decision making.

No more ogling, Google. Free blue!

unsolicited data capture is data harassment

Data mining objectifies all of us.

How do you define data rape?

Freedom rights secure confident control assured

Freedom rights secure confident control assured

my options are not commodity futures

Transparency, choice, security, accountability, trust, freedom

stop sharing salary and work location

Being a single woman I am concern for my safety I don't tell people where I work that changed when I started at U of M it is easy to search my name where I work how much I make you should have a filter set up so this is not easy to get to.

Don't trust the privacy tools either

Even when you request data not to be collected/tracked and don't give your consent, the tech companies are still collecting it. You don't even have to not use the service.

Must stop sacrificing privacy for convenience!

It's about freedom versus control ​​

Suppose I kept a record of when you left your house, where you went, how many minutes you spent at each place, what you bought along the way, and who you talked to, but not what you said. Is that metadata, or is it surveillance?

Self-determination, respect, dignity, consent, choice, control


I think that salaries should remain private. In the past, employees talking about how much they make, or how much of an increase they received versus me. There are a lot of factors that are considered when determining salary.

Just do it, respect my privacy.

Translations of Privacy : ilusion, delusion

Bill Hubbard

There's no privacy, security; only deterrence.


Duo should not be a requirement


Hard to define, easy to lose.

Privacy can mean different things to different people and at different times, but it is easily lost and difficult to regain.


I do not see a privacy anything with my salary being made public information through the University. That is unfair because I know that it is not publicly available for everyone. I never agreed to have my salary info posted for internet searches.

Privacy has been monetized and weaponized

regaining privacy is a new pipe dream like clean environment, and world peace

Sometimes, there's no good alternative product

Would love to be able to use a product without giving up my data or move to a different product, but it's not always possible because of how embedded the product is in our society's tech infrastructure and the lack of sufficient support for alternatives.

Just Say No to Social Media

Irrefutable ownership of myself via privacy

I Am, I Exist, the world does not need to know EVERYTHING about me.
Thomas A. Burns

what's this crazy-egg dot com tracker

privacy evolves: adapt, migrate or pass

does it matter in the end

nothing on the web is private. If we embrace new assistant technologies and not be as concerned about privacy, maybe life would be easier.

choice control anonymity data ownership personhood

consent, permission, allow, anonymity, irrefutable, N/A

freedom, respect, confidence, security, assuredness, comfort

comfort, value, peace, consequences, need-to-know, point-in-time

personal, incognito, VPN, password, sensitive information

Nothing on the web is private.

safe, worry less, quiet, protected, trust

When you walk away, log out!

safety, security, anonymous, private, non-hacked, N/A

Freedom to choose context specific identities.

freedom, safety, independence, separation, cost, illusion

freedom of expression, expectation of security

Security, safety, freedom, awareness, breach avoidance

protection from intrusive snoops, N/A, N/A

safety, freedom, trust, peace, N/A, N/A

freedom, private, safe, secure, uncensored, unsurveilled

User first transparent human readable choices

Privacy is the ability to have agency over one's own information and identity. One gets to choose how/when/where it is used and shared and clearly understand the consequences of doing so in context with the benefits you will receive in return.
Daniel Ayala

Vulnerable to ability, agency, and access

Privacy is like one of those very basic desires - like fairness. But like other basic desires, there is no sharp definition. Context matters, and in that context are: Ability to choose (as modified by health, injury, etc.) Agency to act Access too.
Richard C

Relinquishing privacy is rarely worth it.

Privacy is't dead; it smells funny.

How many trackers on this site?

My data, my control, my rights.

My data is mine, ask first.

Jack K

Respect me. Don't monetize my life.

peace of mind visibility without intrusion

expect nothing online to be private

autonomy dignity property default design nunya-bizness

anonymity empowerment agency security freedom protection

equality choice ownership rights consent empowerment

robert s.

Lawyerly arcane commercialized vital confused manipulatable

Like smoke in the wind

humanity, equality, freedom, choice, security, justice


justice respect integrity choice freedom access


Humanity, expression, autonomy, comfort, freedom, rights

Liberty, Freedom, Happiness, Comfort, Safety, Confidence

Control over sharing my personal information

I enjoy the capabilities that information sharing provides me, but I want the ability to manage the which parts of my personal information are exposed to others.

Safety, Calm, Right, Freedom, Value, Citizen

Self rights freedom protection ☮️ autonomy


anonymity freedom self-expression being autonomy human

personal control anonymity permission unknown rights

Always tenuous, quickly fleeting, traded for convenience and profit.